NBA Picks: Lakers at Nuggets Predictions and Betting Odds
by Aaron Smith - 1/21/2011
The Los Angeles Lakers have been as streaky as any team in the NBA so far this year. The defending champions started the season red hot at 13-2, but they have been back and forth between hot and cold ever since. The Denver Nuggets were the Lakers top contender in the Western Conference a couple years ago, but this team is shell of its former self right now. They are still very talented, but the trade rumors and lack of team chemistry are really hurting this squad. The Nuggets have still been almost unbeatable at home, and they should be fully motivated when the Lakers come to town. This one will be broadcast on ESPN Friday night.
The Lakers are still the team to beat in the Western Conference, but they certainly need to get their act together before the playoffs get started. This team has looked amazing at times this year, but at other times they have looked terrible. Kobe Bryant is still the clear leader of this team, and his numbers are fairly similar to last year’s. Pau Gasol is probably the most skilled big man in the game. Lamar Odom is having an absolutely terrific season. Odom’s numbers are way up across the board. He is shooting 57 percent from the floor and he is averaging 15.5 points per game. If all these guys are having great year’s then why are the Lakers so inconsistent this season?
The supporting cast hasn’t played very well for much of the year. Ron Artest is shooting just 40 percent from the floor, and he is averaging just eight points per game. Andrew Bynum is a game-changer down low, but he has struggled with injuries all year. The Lakers aren’t playing their best right now, but to count them out would be silly.
The Denver Nuggets have had to play with more trade rumors and controversy surrounding them than any other team, and it has showed on the court. Will Carmelo Anthony finish the season as a Nugget? Will he even finish the month as a Nugget? Some rumors have been swirling around Chauncey Billups as well. Anthony’s scoring average is down by about five points per game, and he is shooting just 43.5 percent from the field. Billups has had injury issues this year, and his averages are down across the board.
The Nuggets are leading the NBA in scoring, but they are just ninth in field goal percentage offense. Denver is allowing 104.2 points per game, and opponents are shooting 46 percent from the floor. This is a team that has been solid on the glass for the last few years, but this year they have been getting outrebounded far too often. Guys like J.R. Smith and Al Harrington are more than capable of having a huge game, but they don’t do it consistently. The Nuggets will need to find their identity and play as a team if they wish to make something of this season.
Lakers at Nuggets Betting Odds and Line Movement
The Lakers are a small one point road favorite in this game, according to NBA odds, after some early money has come onto their side. The spread opened at ‘pick’em’. The posted total opened at 211.5, and it has edged up to 212. The Lakers are often public favorites, so don’t be surprised if more money moves toward the Lakers before tipoff.
Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets Betting Trends
The Nuggets are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games
The Lakers are 0-4-1 ATS in the last five meetings
The ‘under’ is 24-9 in the Lakers last 33 games
NBA Picks and Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets
Denver’s offense has been firing on all cylinders of late. The Nuggets have averaged 120 points per game during their last five games. The Nuggets won, 118-112, in the meeting between these two earlier this season. The Lakers should be able to score plenty on Denver’s terrible defense, but I think the Nuggets will put up a solid effort offensively. I like this one to go ‘over’ the posted total.
Doc’s Sports NBA has been hot, with profit in 18 of the last 27 nights. We have hit eight straight NBA Game of the Week winners and we have a 5-Unit NBA Totals Game of the Week going on Saturday as we look to stay hot for NBA picks.
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